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Archive for Iran

Newsline: Iran blacklists U.S. ambassador in Iraq, reciprocating U.S. move

Iran blacklisted the U.S. ambassador in Iraq and two other diplomats, following a similar move by the United States against Iran’s envoy to Baghdad, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said. Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Twitter that ambassador Matthew Tueller “has had a central role in coordinating terrorist acts in Iraq & beyond” including the assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a U.S. missile strike at Baghdad in January. (https://news.yahoo.com/iran-blacklists-u-ambassador-iraq-115646897.html) Tehran’s move, which allows the seizure of assets within Iran of sanctioned individuals, is symbolic and unlikely to have any impact on the U.S. diplomats. On Thursday, the United States blacklisted Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador to Iraq, saying he has for years overseen the training and support of Iraqi militia groups responsible for attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.

Newsline: Top Iraqi diplomat in Iran after US Embassy warning

Iraq’s foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning for a two-day visit of wide-ranging talks in the wake of the US warning it might close its Baghdad embassy due to threats, including from Iranian-backed militias. Iraq’s Fuad Hussein and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations, including the implementation of agreements reached during Iraqi Prime Minister Mostafa al-Kazimi’s visit to Tehran in July. (https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/top-iraqi-diplomat-in-iran-after-us-embassy-warning/1986783) According to diplomatic sources, regional developments figured prominently in the talks between the two officials, including the security situation in Iraq and a string of attacks on US forces. The visit comes after the US threatened to close its embassy in Baghdad if the Iraqi government fails to take action against militia groups targeting US forces in Iraq. Iraqi media reported that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dispatched a letter of warning to Iraqi President Barham Salih threatening to close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad. The letter warned that the US will “liquidate” those responsible for attacking US interests in Iraq, referring to militia groups like Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, both backed by Iran. The US also reportedly threatened to withhold aid to Iraq from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, besides sanctions, if the US Embassy is forced to close.

Newsline: Iran reportedly weighing plot to kill US ambassador to South Africa

The Iranian government is weighing a plot to assassinate the US ambassador to South Africa, a report said on Sunday. Authorities have been aware of a general threat against ambassador Lana Marks since the spring, but intelligence reports about the plot have become more specific in recent weeks, Politico reported, citing two unnamed government officials. The intelligence community isn’t sure why Iran would target Marks, who does not appear to have any known links to the country, according to the report. (https://nypost.com/2020/09/13/iran-weighing-plot-to-kill-u-s-ambassador-to-south-africa-report/) But the plot seems to be an effort by Iran to retaliate against the Trump administration for the killing of its top general Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in January. President Trump announced fresh sanctions on Iran and warned it against other retaliatory moves. But US officials believe attacking Marks is one of several options Iran’s regime is considering as payback. A personal friend of the late Princess Diana, Marks, 66, has known Trump for more than two decades. She was sworn in as US ambassador last October. The report said that she has been made aware of the possible threat to her life.

Newsline: UAE summons Iranian diplomat

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires in Abu Dhabi in response to a speech by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over its agreement to normalise ties with Israel, according to state media. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/uae-summons-iranian-diplomat-unacceptable-rouhani-speech-200816141002205.html) Rouhani said in a speech on Saturday the UAE had made a “huge mistake” in reaching a deal to establish diplomatic relations with Israel and called it a betrayal by the Gulf state. “They [the UAE] better be mindful. They have committed a huge mistake, a treacherous act,” Rouhani said of the agreement announced on Thursday. Emirati state news agency WAM reported on Sunday that the UAE’s foreign ministry summoned the charge d’affaires and gave him a “strongly worded memo”. The UAE foreign ministry said the speech was “unacceptable and inflammatory and had serious implications for security and stability in the Gulf region”.

Newsline: New North Korean ambassador to Iran talks “common enemy” U.S.

North Korea’s new ambassador to Iran was confirmed in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani, with both officials reportedly discussing their “common enemy” in Washington. The Iranian President’s office reported that Rouhani expressed hopes to “further deepen” bilateral ties, with both Rouhani and Ambassador Han Song U sharing an anti-American stance. Rouhani reportedly stated that “U.S. officials have always been oppressive against governments and nations such as Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” and that the two leaders “must stand stronger than ever against their extravagance and bullying.” Ambassador Han also allegedly agreed on the “need to work for the development of relations between the two countries,” further stating that “confronting U.S. extravagance and hegemony is a common ground” between Iran and North Korea. (https://www.nknews.org/2020/06/new-north-korean-ambassador-to-iran-meets-rouhani-talks-common-enemy-u-s/) But North Korean state media seemed to opt out of the overtly anti-American angle, instead focusing on Iran and North Korea’s will to strengthen mutual ties during the meeting.

Newsline: Iran Summons Afghan Envoy over Violation of Embassy

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Afghanistan’s ambassador to Tehran over recent offensive moves against the Iranian diplomatic missions in Afghanistan. The ambassador of Afghanistan to Tehran was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday morning to provide an explanation for a series of recent moves against Iranian diplomatic missions in Afghanistan. In the Saturday meeting in Tehran, Director General of West Asia of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern about the impact of the wrong measures by that small group on the neighborly relations between Iran and Afghanistan. (https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2020/06/13/2285294/iran-summons-afghan-envoy-over-violation-of-embassy) A few days ago, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Iranian Embassy in Kabul in protest at what they called mistreatment of Afghan nationals by Iran’s security forces after three Afghan migrants were killed and a number of others injured when a vehicle of human traffickers crashed in Iran’s central province of Yazd.

Newsline: Armenia Tries to Reassure Iran Over Embassy in Israel

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said Yerevan’s relations with Iran are advancing through active dialogue encompassing an extensive agenda. His remarks to reporters Thursday was aimed at reassuring Tehran over Armenia’s announced plans to open an embassy in Israel. Mnatsakanyan’s remarks come two days after about two dozen Iranian university students held a demonstration in front of Armenia’s Embassy in Tehran protesting Yerevan’s decision, announced last September, to open an embassy in Tel Aviv. Demonstrators chanted “death to Israel” and burned an Israeli flag. (http://asbarez.com/194680/armenia-tries-to-reassure-iran-over-embassy-in-israel/) While saying that Armenia has its own interests to advance, Mnatsakanyan told reporters that Yerevan has never and it will not pursue relations with one partner at the expense of another. While Israel and Armenia established diplomatic relations in 1992, there has not been a diplomatic representation on each other’s land.

Newsline: Twitter closes account of Iran’s Embassy in Russia

Twitter has closed account of Iran’s Embassy in Russia without any reason, media department at the embassy announced on Monday night. Twitter has not yet responded to Iran’s request to know about why the company has shut the Iranian Embassy’s twitter account in Russian language. (https://en.irna.ir/news/83800114/Twitter-closes-Iran-Embassy-s-account-with-no-reason) In the meantime, Twitter has already blocked accounts of several Iranian news agencies unreasonably. More than a year ago, French news agency had quoted Twitter as claiming that such closure is due to dispatch of messages from Iranian accounts against the US policies. Two years ago, Twitter and Facebook shut for no reason hundred of pages and accounts linked to Iran . Closure of Iran’s accounts through US-based social networks increased in parallel with the US so-called maximum pressure on Iran.

Newsline: Iran approves creation of ”virtual embassy” in Palestine

A Commission of the Iranian Parliament tasked the government to create a “virtual embassy” in Palestine. Parliament”s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission approved a previously drafted motion bill, which obliges the Iranian Foreign Ministry to lay the groundwork for the creation of “the Islamic Republic”s Virtual Embassy in Palestine” within six months and submit the results for approval to the cabinet, reports Xinhua news agency. (https://www.therahnuma.com/iran-approves-creation-of-virtual-embassy-in-palestine/) On May 12, Iranian lawmakers approved “a double-urgency motion” which, in case of turning into law, would oblige the Iranian government to take certain measures against “hostile measures” of Israel. One of the articles of the motion endorsed by the Commission states that “the historic land of Palestine belongs to the original Palestinian people”.

Newsline: Iran summons Swiss ambassador amid warnings it will destroy US warships

Iran has summoned the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, who represents US interests in the country, over recent Gulf tensions, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the IRIB news agency. The ambassador was given a message to pass on to the United States that Iran will strongly defend its maritime rights in the Gulf and respond to any threats. (https://www.france24.com/en/20200423-iran-summons-swiss-ambassador-amid-warnings-it-will-destroy-us-warships) Iran warned it will destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Gulf, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards told state TV on Thursday, a day after US President Donald Trump warned Tehran over “harassment” of US vessels. Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea, but said later he was not changing the military’s rules of engagement. Earlier this month, the US military said 11 Revolutionary Guards naval vessels from the Guards navy came close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.